Is a Career in Nursing Right for You? 

By  //  February 2, 2021

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Being part of the nursing profession can be both rewarding and selfless. However, it comes with physical, mental and emotional stresses that can be difficult for the most seasoned of nurses to deal with at times.

Before enrolling in a course and committing to a career in nursing, you need to be absolutely sure that this is the right profession for you. Like with any job, there are skills and attributes that, if you possess, will make this profession more suited for you.

Wondering whether nursing is right for you? Read on.

Are You Dedicated to Nursing?

Dedication is needed for most careers if you wish to excel. However, as a nurse, you will need to dedicate time and energy to earning the correct degree and certificates, as well as continue to learn when medical breakthroughs and new technologies enter the scene.

Dedication can save lives when it comes to the healthcare sector, so if you are not 100% invested in becoming a well-educated nurse, this may not be the career path for you.

Do You Have the Qualities Needed to Become a Nurse?

As with any job, there are certain qualities that will naturally make you a better and more dedicated nurse.

Here are the qualities typically needed if you are wanting to become a nurse:

Compassion

You will be seeing to, and treating, patients who are vulnerable and require compassion and empathy. Patients coming to seek medical attention can be nervous and anxious, therefore showing kindness towards them can help soothe them and any racing thoughts they may be having. Many medical facilities implement standards that require nurses to show a base level of compassion.

Dedication

You must be dedicated to the profession and aim to give your all when looking after your patients and ensuring they have a good quality of life while in your care. Having a yearning to go the extra mile for your patients can be what makes a good nurse a great nurse instead.

You can show your dedication by:

■ Going the extra mile to ensure your patient has what they want (e.g., do they really want a certain brand of biscuit?)

■ Working a few extra hours to help your patient or a co-worker

■ Continuing to learn the profession and attending courses or reading books so that you can continue to improve your skills

Patience

As a nurse, you will need to practice patience. Patience can be applied to various scenarios such as lending a hand to a physician or surgeon or tending to a patient who is rude or perhaps confused and needs extra care.

Patients can be prone to act out due to the high-stress nature of a medical environment (especially if they are waiting for news about their health or the health of a loved one).

Be prepared for patients to act out. Learning how to counter these difficult patients and learning to practice patience can make you a better, more well-rounded healthcare professional. A nervous patient may also recognize your patience and relax while under your care, providing them with a better healthcare experience.

Willingness to Learn (and Continue Learning)

The medical field will continue to adapt and change depending on new medical breakthroughs and the implementation of newer technology, and as a nurse, it is your duty to educate yourself on these breakthroughs and new technologies. Attend seminars and lectures when possible and ask your superior whether there are any classes or books that may be useful to your profession.

You should also consider returning to school if you wish to broaden or improve your nursing skills. There are plenty of opportunities for registered nurses to enroll in courses that can help them develop their careers. For instance, if you are a RN, you could take an online course to help you become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Click here for more information on the benefits of becoming an FNP.

Foresight

Having the power of foresight, or the ability to anticipate an issue with a patient, can help save lives. As a nurse, you will spend a lot of time with your patients. You will get to know them on a deeper level than any other member of the care team, and being able to read a patient’s body language or read between the lines of what they are saying (patients are not always truthful) can stop small issues from becoming bigger problems that may have catastrophic consequences.

Learning how to read body language is no easy task. You will need to learn how to study a person’s eyes and face and observe how a patient typically acts before you start to see a difference in how they convey themselves.

Ability to Listen

Listening to your patients and co-workers is essential. You will be tasked with important responsibilities that need to be carried out properly and to a high-level of care. Mistakes in the healthcare industry can cause death, so ensuring you understand your duties can be essential. If you are ever unsure of anything, be sure to ask for clarification.

Is there an Area You Wish to Specialize in?

Registered nurses have the option to specialize in a certain area if they wish to. Take the time to read the job description of each specialism to ensure you are making the right decision. Popular nursing specialties include:

■ Anesthetist Nurse

■ Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

■ Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner

■ Certified Midwife Nurse (CMN)

■ Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

■ Research Nurse

It is unreasonable to expect all trainee or aspiring nurses to possess all the above qualities. And, of course, not all registered nurses will embody them all. While it is not necessarily a requirement, learning and developing the qualities listed above can not only make you a better and more skilled nurse, but it will also make your job much more enjoyable and manageable. You will also provide a better service of care for your patients which, at the end of the day, should be your main priority as a nurse.